TOKYO — A day after its latest intercontinental ballistic missile launch, North Korea released photos of what it’s calling the “Hwasong-15.” And the collective response from missile experts was — not to get too technical — whoa.
The missile and its launcher truck do, at first blush, appear to support North Korea’s claim that this missile is much more technologically advanced than previous iterations.
Although there is still much that can’t be gleaned from the photos, and North Korea does have an inglorious record of exaggeration, analysts generally agree that the Hwasong-15 marks a significant leap forward in North Korea’s missile development.
“This is a really big missile, much larger than I expected,” said Scott LaFoy, an imagery analyst for the specialist website NK News. “I believe one of my professors would have referred to it as a big honking missile.”
HS-14 had 4 verniers, 1 main nozzle.
HS-15 looks bigger diameter, no verniers, and, as @wslafoy observes, two nozzles.
Notice that blunt shroud/RV.
HS-15 reminds me of the Titan II.